The Luzhin Defense
Nabokov's third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday... show more
Nabokov's third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster--but at a cost: in Luzhin' s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality. His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers under his opponent's unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.
Publish date: August 11th 1990
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
, Literary Fiction
, 20th Century
, Russian Literature
, Sports And Games
We find in The Luzhin Defense many of Nabokov's playful tropes: madness (monomania, solipsism), resistance to meaning (particular jabs at the "Viennese delegation"), genius outcast from society. It is apparent that his is an early work of the master, though a masterful work still. Luzhin is a remote...
Over the last few weeks I’ve read The Luzhin Defense, followed by Bluebeard and then Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Originally I was going to write some stuff here about the central characters and compare them with the original Outsider. I was going to say things like this: Maybe it is a contra...
After reading Lolita, I knew that I'd need another book to feed my new addiction to Nabokov. Something I could read over and over. Something with his deliciously clever writing, minus the pedophilia. I had high hopes for The Defense and I enjoyed the book, but didn't quite find what I was looking fo...
Don't have a lot to say about this one. It was enjoyable, and I felt a lot of identification with the main character. On the other hand, it was a little tedious at times, and I felt the style was a little overdone. That may be because I had just read Hemingway before. I think I will re-read this...
If you are a chessplayer, like me, you simply have to read this book. No one else has even come close to describing chess obsession from the inside. The style is, needless to say, impeccable.